Admin Pro Forum

Share best-practices with your administrative peers. Pose a question, offer advice, or just be a fly on the wall.

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Question: “When I started at my company, I worked for two senior execs. Now, I also work for the president. I handle all of their office and personal work, which includes personal errands for the president. On my review, it was stated that I am not enthusiastic about everything that I am asked to do. I’ve never refused a request, but I don’t want enthusiasm to be interpreted that I need more to do. I am frequently complimented by customers and co-workers on my helpfulness. I also work overtime every day on an unpaid basis. I noted this on my last review comments. But the president keeps bringing up the ‘enthusiasm’ comment on my review. How should I respond to this comment?” — Anonymous
Question: “How do you tactfully tell a co-worker/friend, who recently received a promotion to an upper-level management position, that she needs to dress more professionally? She dressed very nice for the interviews, but the next day she was back to wearing wrinkled, sloppy clothing. She will be meeting potential donors and prominent business people, but she doesn’t seem to have a clue about her style. How can I help her succeed in her new position without hurting a friendship?” — Want to Help
Question: “What user-friendly database software can connect to Quicken Books?  The nonprofit I currently support has MS Access, but I don't know if that's the answer.  Is there a program that’s more user-friendly?” — Anonymous
Question: “Our department is expanding and hiring additional staff and two new managers. My previous boss was promoted to a new higher-level position, and I was promoted to be her assistant (new position). We’ve worked tirelessly to support the new staff, including the new managers. I have difficulty understanding one of the new managers because she has a heavy accent. When she’s not satisfied with something, she just talks faster. She is not satisfied with my performance and has asked me to stay and help her assistant in setting up meetings. I have refused. Now she has reported me directly to HR. It is a power struggle. How do I solve this problem but still keep a good working relationship? I have received nothing but good performance reviews for the past 20 years. I am afraid I might lose my job.” — Hilary
Question: “I have been tasked with finding scheduling software for our company.  Sounds easy but I need software that will allow us to schedule different people, in different countries, on different schedules.  We need to schedule it so we know who can work in what country and what skill sets they have .The shifts are 12 – 21 days (varies by country) and we’d like to prepare reports so that we know who has worked where and for how long and, how much time off they have had (to meet individual country requirements).  In my dream world, it would also alert us when we have double scheduled or when we have a mismatched pair or have missed a scheduling slot. Since this isn’t your normal work week scheduling I haven’t found a software package that will allow us to track everything we need.  Has anyone found a software package that might work for us?” — Pam Cashwell
“We have an employee who lies about her time, doesn't do all her work, complains about co-workers and tries to change policy for her benefit. The administrator ignores all of our complaints.  How can we handle this difficult employee?” — Anonymous
Question: “I am the receptionist for a large assisted living facility.  Visitors must sign in at the reception desk and then wear a visitor badge.  People do not like this and have told me it’s none of my business who they are or why they want to visit. I explain that it is for the visitor’s safety as well as that of our residents. Any ideas or suggestions how best to handle this?” — Gwen O’Brien
Question: “I work in an office with all men.  My boss is wonderful except he forgets that I am part of the team too. Recently, he gave all the guys a hooded sweatshirt with the company logo on it and failed to give me one. I don't want to sound selfish, but I would like to have one like the rest of the office. What is the best way to handle this situation with the boss without sounding greedy?” — A team member too
Question: “What is the best career path that an administrative assistant can take in the admin or facilities field, and what would the duties be?” — Sreekumari K
Question: “Last year I became ill shortly after I was given a new assignment.  I was gone about two months and then returned to work eager to continue my assigned responsibilities. The day I reported back to work, my new responsibilities were taken away and I was reassigned to grunt work, basically "put out to pasture." My title and salary remain the same, so the company could not be accused of discrimination. I am about four years from retirement.  I like the company, and I don't want to go on the job market at this point. I have given essential services and skills to the company for 13 years. No one else in the admin staff has the particular knowledge or skill set I have. I have offered to train or coach the others so that they can carry on when I retire, but no one seems interested. Is there anything I can do to stay as valued and appreciated as I was before my illness?  Or is my only option to write an admin manual covering the knowledge and skills I would like to pass on?” — Caroline N. Packard
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